Sweet Valley Twins #26: Taking Charge
The Big Deal: Concert at the lake
Classmate with a Problem: Patrick Morris, crappy parents
Patrick Morris has the worst parents. They make him do homework! He’s not allowed to have snacks! He has a curfew! Jessica doesn’t know how he can survive. Patrick is sick one day so the twins bring him his homework after school. He’s allowed to have only one friend over at a time so there’s twin switch shenanigans when his mom comes home early from work. That Saturday, there’s a concert at Secca Lake. A high school band called The Wild Ones is putting on a show as a fundraiser to buy library books and all the kids are going to be there. When the twins stop by Patrick’s house to see if he wants to go, his mom is rude and weird.
Patrick wants to play the saxophone in the school band, but his parents won’t even let him try out and they won’t tell him why. The school gives him a saxophone to practice with and he convinces the twins to let him keep it at their house. He comes over to practice and drives everyone crazy, but his tryout is great and he makes the band. His parents still won’t let him join and they refuse to talk about it.
Jessica and Winston get paired up to do a science project together. Winston’s got a whole thing he wants to do with mold, so Jessica has to keep a bunch of pieces of moldy bread around the house and that’s gross. Their project gets chosen to be on display at the library on Saturday and Jessica promises Winston she’ll be there. But come on, we all know that’s a lie. There’s a football game and Bruce is having a party afterward, so of course Jessica won’t be going to the library. The party turns out to be just a bunch of guys playing football in the yard, so Jessica leaves. When she gets home, Liz tells her Patrick has disappeared.
Everyone is in a panic. Patrick’s parents come over to the Wakefields’ house with the cops, and Liz doesn’t hesitate to tell the police that Patrick has probably run away because he thinks his parents hate him. The next morning, Liz finds a note stuck in the back door. It says, “We have Patrick. Stop looking for him. If you don’t it could be very bad for him.” Well that’s certainly frightening, but Winston comes over and says Patrick’s hiding in the Egberts’ basement and he made Winston write the note.
The twins go to Winston’s house to try to talk some sense into Patrick, but he refuses to go home. He makes the twins promise not to tell anyone where he is. Liz wrestles with this promise for a while, but ends up telling her parents where Patrick is. Patrick knew this would happen, so he runs away to an abandoned church, where he falls through the floor and has to be rescued by his father, who ignores the policemen when they tell him not to go in there. After the rescue, Mr. Morris explains that he lost his job and that’s why he and Patrick’s mother have been so strict lately. But not to worry, he just landed another job! And Patrick explains that he can borrow a saxophone from school so it won’t cost anything for him to join the band! Yay!
“I’m not going to judge the way other people run their families, honey. It’s hard enough for parents to take care of their own kids.” Mrs. Wakefield yawned. “I’d like to lie down for a while before I start supper. Will you girls put the groceries away?”
I’m surprised she’s actually going to cook dinner for once instead of making the twins do it.
Patrick seemed not to have heard a word they said. “Today’s the day I should have been playing with the band,” he announced sadly.
The Cover: I don’t know what this is all about. I’m guessing that’s the abandoned church, but this doesn’t look like any scene from the book.